When breaking away from traffic, that jackass Carl in accounting, irritating neighbors, barking dogs and the all-around hubbub of a crazy life… camping is the way to go!  Over the past months we’ve given you a world of options on how to light up your campsite, spend a little down-time with Mother Nature and drink it up once the sun sets (See HERE if you already forgot).  However, there is one thing that trumps all of the others when it comes to taking it outside… getting a good night’s sleep!  What’s the point of getting away if you just walk into work on Monday morning more grumpy and bent outta-shape than before you left?  Hey, we’ve been there… trust us!  And after years of trial and error (and error… and error) we’ve finally found a couple of items that really made the difference from an okay trip, to a great one!  So of course… we’re here to share!

First off… the tent!  When escaping out into the wild it’s not usually with a huge group, it’s normally a small group of friends… and with my group we’ve all gotten to know each other pretty well.  Well enough, in fact, that I may be in a tent with just myself and a sleeping bag buddy… or the two of us and a few drunken goof-balls that can’t remember which tent is theirs.  No matter how big or small… we highly recommend the Coleman Instant Tent 8 ($200), a 14’x10′ incredibly comfortable tent that can sleep up to 8 with a 6-1/2′ tall clearance.  Now, this may not mean you actually cram 8 people in it… because I can guarantee at least one of them snores like a freakin banshee… but it does mean you can sleep 4-6 and still have plenty of room to manuever around.  Not only is this thing big enough for the whole crew, but it actually has a divider to create 2 rooms.  Awesome!  But that’s not the best part… this tent will literally go up in 1 MINUTE!!! And we are not pulling your chain on this one!  Hell, we put it up, and took it down, 4 times (with a stopwatch) and every time it was 50-70 seconds flat-out.  Add in the exclusive Coleman WeatherTec System (which is super awesome at the beach) for extreme dryness and the 150D material (Camp-geek for twice the thickness of a standard tent material) and you have an inexpensive, abundantly roomy and incredibly versatile tent for any camping adventure you can imagine.  With this tent you are almost guaranteed a great night’s sleep!  (You can check the full specs HERE)

Now… the Sleeping Bag.  This part of your trip can be tricky… a lot depends on your location (beach = high moisture, mountain = cold, backyard = sprinklers) and the kind of sleeper you are.  There are bags that wrap you up like a mummy and others that afford enough space for 2-3 people (that, my friends, is a whole other post!).  For a great all-around bag that is versatile across many climate zones and comfortable we go with the Coleman Sabine Sleeping Bag ($55).  Ideally made for sleeping conditions between 20°-40°, I’ve found that this works in many regions… but when in a very cold climate, zip-it-up and BAM… warm as you can ever imagine.  Aside from comfort (which is abundant) this bag has a couple of cool features I personally enjoy.  A few of them are: special stitching that actually pulls the zipper away from the fabric so it won’t snag (ruined a couple of bags with bad zippers)… “Fiberlock” which prevents all of the stuffing from shifting into one irritating place… and a contoured head-rest so your head is on the bag, but not in your face.  Like I said, sleeping bags are difficult to give advice on because everyone has a different comfort level when sleeping… but I’ve personally tried these out time and again, and can honestly say that if something happened to my Sabine bag I’d buy another of the exact same.  How’s that for an endorsement?  (see full specs HERE)

There you have it… all of the fun tools aside, a good night’s sleep will not escape you with a couple of great sidekicks… and the Instant Tent 8 with Sabine bag is your over-all best bet.

Remember… only you can prevent forest fires.  Happy Camping!!